No two divorces are ever the same because no two families are ever the same. However, one constant that will always be present in divorce cases involving children is child support. In the state of Illinois, child support is an obligation that both parents have to a child. The state believes that parents have the financial responsibility of providing for their child, even if they are not a part of their child’s life in any other way. Child support is paid to the child’s main caregiver, typically the parent with the majority of parenting time, until the child graduates from high school or turns 18, whichever comes later. The amount of child support that is paid depends on a variety of factors, including the number of children who are receiving child support, the income of both parents and how much time the children are spending with each parent.
Modifying Child Support Orders
Many things in a divorce decree are set in stone and are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to change once they are finalized. One of the things that can be changed, however, is child support stipulations. In general, Illinois child support orders are able to be reviewed and changed if needed every three years. The state of Illinois understands that sometimes circumstances change between those three-year marks, which is why you are able to petition for a modification if the need for change is urgent or if there has been a “significant change in circumstances.”
What Constitutes a “Significant Change in Circumstances?”
The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act states that there are three reasons why a child support order can be modified: the original child support order deviated from the support guidelines, the order needs to address the child’s healthcare needs or there has been a significant change in circumstances. The most common reason a child support order is modified is that a parent claims there has been a change in circumstances since the order was entered. Examples of a significant change in circumstances include:
- The child’s needs have changed, such as increased educational or medical expenses;
- The cost of living has changed for either parent;
- Either parent’s financial situation has changed;
- The way parenting time is allocated has changed; or
- Either parent has remarried.
Discuss Your Needs With a Will County Child Support Lawyer
There are a variety of things that can change that affect your child support order. If you think you have experienced a change in circumstances that would warrant a change in a child support order, you should contact a Joliet, IL, child support attorney. At The Foray Firm, we can help you examine your current child support order and figure out if an increase or decrease in the amount is necessary. Call our office today at 312-702-1293 to schedule a consultation.